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Thread: when to introduce solids

  1. #1

    Default when to introduce solids

    I am a first time mom. pediatrician said to introduce solids @ 4-6 months and when baby is showing signs of readiness to eat solids. my LO shows signs of interest and is developmentally showing readiness, but I am worried to start too early.my LO is 4 1/2 months old?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: when to introduce solids

    welcome! the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not starting solids until 6 months. advice to start at 4 months is out of date. developmental signs of readiness include: sitting up unassisted, pincer grasp (so baby can get food to her mouth independently), has lost the tongue-push reflex, and i think i'm missing 1 more. most babies get those right around 6 months; it would be highly unusual for yours to have them all at 4.5 months, but it is possible. showing signs of interest is NOT a sign that baby is developmentally ready for solids - they just want to know what we're doing and imitate! an empty spoon/plate/cup will satisfy that.

    there are good reasons to wait as long as possible: there is some evidence that early solids contributes to autoimmune problems (like eczema, allergies, ibs, etc) and breastmilk poo is SOOO much less gross than solids poo.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: when to introduce solids

    A baby is ready for solids when baby can pick up a chunk of soft but firm food (a well steamed (cooked) carrot stick, for example) bite off a piece with his gums, chew it/move it around with his mouth and tongue, and swallow. And more importantly, when he WANTS to do this. Your baby may grab hold a carrot but if it made it into his mouth or any down his throat without him thrusting it out with his tongue I would be surprised.

    Of course, you may prefer to start with mashed foods. If so, then baby is ready for mashed foods when, if mashed food is on his tray or plate in front of him, he grabs a fist full of mashed food in his hand, brings it to his mouth, chomps/sucks off a bite, moves it around in his mouth with his gums and tongue, and swallows.

    Or, if you prefer a utensil, if you put a bit of mashed food on your finger, show it to baby, baby grabs your hand, pulls it into him, (or leans in with eager open mouth) chomps the food off your finger, masticates a bit, and swallows. Yes your finger is the utensil.
    Plus of course baby must be able to stay sitting on his bottom unaided.

    High chairs that recline, pureed foods, and soft special baby spoons are all equipment made to make it possible start an infant on solid foods before he or she is ready. Why? There is a long history in this, but the reason why these things exist today is so people who make baby food and baby products can make more money.

    If you have to spoon food into the baby’s mouth, bypassing his tongue thrust reflex, in order to get food into baby, he is not ready for solids.
    I agree with auderey, I suggest, give baby a cup or spoon to play with at the table and keep exclusively nursing for now. You will sense when the time is right to try a tiny bit of solid food for baby, but it is considered safest to wait until about 6 months of age (or later.) Meanwhile, much less mealtime mess for you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: when to introduce solids

    Outdated advice from the doc. This is what the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement on breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk (http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...29/3/e827.full) says about duration of exclusive breastfeeding:


    The AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant, a recommendation concurred to by the WHO78 and the Institute of Medicine.79

    Support for this recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding is found in the differences in health outcomes of infants breastfed exclusively for 4 vs 6 months, for gastrointestinal disease, otitis media, respiratory illnesses, and atopic disease, as well as differences in maternal outcomes of delayed menses and postpartum weight loss.15,18,80

    Compared with infants who never breastfed, infants who were exclusively breastfed for 4 months had significantly greater incidence of lower respiratory tract illnesses, otitis media, and diarrheal disease than infants exclusively breastfed for 6 months or longer.15,18 When compared with infants who exclusively breastfed for longer than 6 months, those exclusively breastfed for 4 to 6 months had a fourfold increase in the risk of pneumonia.15 Furthermore, exclusively breastfeeding for 6 months extends the period of lactational amenorrhea and thus improves child spacing, which reduces the risk of birth of a preterm infant.81

    The AAP is cognizant that for some infants, because of family and medical history, individual developmental status, and/or social and cultural dynamics, complementary feeding, including gluten-containing grains, begins earlier than 6 months of age.82,83 Because breastfeeding is immunoprotective, when such complementary foods are introduced, it is advised that this be done while the infant is feeding only breastmilk.82 Mothers should be encouraged to continue breastfeeding through the first year and beyond as more and varied complementary foods are introduced."

    As the PPs pointed out, interest in solids is not the same as readiness for solids. Your baby is also interested in your car keys, but that doesn't make him ready to drive!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: when to introduce solids

    Yes^ what IS it with babies and car keys????

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